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Belfast City Hospital to lose A&E department

Accident & Emergency services at Belfast City Hospital are to close due to a shortage of doctors.

BELFAST CITY HOSPITAL’S A&E department could close as early as October because of a severe shortage of doctors, the Irish News reveals this morning.

The newspaper said the planned shutdown is backed by Belfast health trust CEO Colm Donaghy.

However, the final decision about the timing of the closure lies with Northern Ireland’s health minister Edwin Poots.

Following a meeting of MLAs yesterday, Poots told UTV News that despite recruitment attempts, there remains inadequate junior doctor and consultant cover within the emergency department.

Two other hospitals in the city deal with A&E patients with the City hospital on the Lisburn Road takes on about 40,000 cases every year.

The health minister said that there are “too many sites” with emergency departments in Belfast and not enough doctors to cover them.

He claimed the move was not about money.

The Irish News adds that just two junior trainee doctors are on duty to cover the emergency units between 2am and 8am.

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Protests have already been organised to fight the closure with campaigners due to hold a demonstration outside the hospital on Saturday afternoon, the News Letter reports.

Read Seanin Graham’s report in the Irish News (print edition) >

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